Monday, 26 November 2012

Buying LPs In The Old Days

First of all you had news of a record coming out sometimes many months before. You'd usually pre-order it. You would probably go into the record shop to see if had arrived yet. Then once I had the vinyl I would take it home and play it full bore on dad's Marrantz Hi-Fi. The vinyl would then be put onto a tape so I could listen to it in my bedroom as I didn't have my own turntable, just a crappy mono tape recorder. Which is featured in this video at the 2.55 minute mark.

Anyway I had it for many years till I saved up for an upgrade. Which I believe was some kind of Panasonic ghetto blaster. None of this double tape deck shit so I couldn't even dub other tapes. But hey it had detachable speakers. Wow - the spaciality of stereo.

Then there was the records. You'd put so much time and thought into your purchase so the odds of it being the goods was in your favour. Through those teenage years LPs went, I think from around $10.99 to $17.99 so that was a lot of money and you didn't want to waste it. So if an album sounded rubbish on first listen, you would give it another go. Then you would give it another go, then another and another up till at least 20 times. Usually the biggest disappointments were bands with a previously great track records so you didn't give a second thought about laying out the dollars for their new record. An example of this was The Models follow up to Out of Mind, Out of Sight which was Models Media. I really really wanted it to be good and probably played it over 25 times before I had to concede it was rubbishola! $16.99 down the drain.

Hoodoo Gurus 3rd LP Blow your Cool did have some great tracks (that Models one had about none) on it but over half was shite. So the endurance of putting up with that other half got annoying in the end. Should have known as the previous record Mars Needs Guitars was only 50% classic. I guess now you would just uncheck the shite songs on i-tunes. This is what I did with that Salem album King Night a couple of years ago. I love about 50-60% of the tracks that I kept checked and couldn't give a fuck about the unchecked ones.

With some groups you knew when to get off the fan wagon instinctively or if the first single off the forthcoming LP was lame. Thus no more INXS post Kick or Midnight Oil post Blue Sky Mining. Hey I was young & impressionable. Probably could have got off earlier with those two groups.

Then there were times when the investment music policy paid off. Take The Triffids final LP The Black Swan which I thought was the worst piece of crap I'd ever laid my ears on. Especially after the over the top, over produced and over budget classic Calenture. These days I'd just delete the file after maybe one or two listens in but due to my investment I played it many times. It is now one of my favourite LPs of all time.

I don't hate Strangeways Here We come by The Smiths but that would have been in the recycle bin straight away. Giving it the investment time made me like it more. Still I find it inferior to the rest of the catalogue, the runt of the litter. Still a good record mind you.

Royal Trux Twin Infinitives is a later example (not really in the timeframe of ths article anyhow) which was on CD but I paid good money at import prices for it. At first maybe for a year and I'm no stranger to noise I found it perplexing and annoying. I would come back to it intermittently after months at a time. Then one day years later it made perfect sense. The perfect noise.

My investment listening music policy couldn't help records which were no good. Jesus & The Mary Chain's Automatic had 2 great singles Head On & the real beauty Blues From A Gun. The rest of the LP however...Gold Afternoon Fix The Church's follow up to the classic Starfish couldn't be helped by repeated listenings. That Petrol Emotion's Chemicrazy very bad indeed.

Maybe recent albums by Black Dice, Maria Minerva and Laurel Halo would perhaps have benefited from the investment policy. James Ferraro's Bodyguard project got a fair airing around here but me no likey so goodbye!

I have touched on this before in a previous post. These are different times and we may now miss out on some things but you know what it's inconsequential as there is so much other stuff out there. Why would I care? No use wasting your time! You don't have that much.

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